In chemistry, we learn that dipole moment tells us about measure of polarity in a molecule. In books, it is written that "conventionlly the direction of dipole moment is from electropositive to electronegative element or less electronegative to more electronegative element"

My question is that in physics we are taught that the direction of dipole moment is from negative charge to positive charge as convention, so what is the basis behind the conventions of dipole moment in the two subjects which leads to different signs of dipole moment?

  • $\begingroup$ I understand the first answer but I have one doubt that if we apply electric fields on molecules and do analysis as a chemist's point of view, then the analysis which we have done in electromagnetism course in physics can't be directly applied in chemistry, we have to change our results according to the direction of dipole moment which we used in chemistry. $\endgroup$
    – Manu
    Apr 21, 2020 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ LOL - Physicists got the charge of the electron wrong. Why blame that on chemists? $\endgroup$
    – MaxW
    Apr 21, 2020 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ Worse - it was Benjamin Franklin :) $\endgroup$ Apr 21, 2020 at 20:57


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